Chapter

Biogeography of Mammals from the Guianas of South America

Edited by Burton K. Lim

in Bones, Clones, and Biomes

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780226649191
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226649214 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226649214.003.0011
Biogeography of Mammals from the Guianas of South America

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The Guianas of northern South America consist of French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, and southeastern Venezuela (states of Delta Amacuro, Bolivar, and Amazonas). There are 284 species representing 12 orders of terrestrial mammals documented from the Guianas. Over half of the species (147) are bats, with rodents accounting for about 20 percent and other orders each representing less than 10 percent of the mammalian species. The Guiana plateau (〉500 m elevation) is the most prominent biogeographic feature. It has influenced diversification of mammals in this region by fostering endemism and functioning as a geographic barrier. Within South America, the ancient Guiana Shield has acted as a stable core area for range expansions from both the Andes and the Amazon during periods of environmental change beginning in the Miocene.

Keywords: biogeography; mammals; guianas; species; Miocene; South America

Chapter.  10634 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biological Sciences

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